(Last Updated on : 02/11/2010)
The revolts against the Mughal Empire took place in different regions especially in northern part of the country. Various explanations have been put forward for the revolts that brought the collapse of Mughal Dynasty. Mughal Dynasty witnessed revolts against the Jats, Marathas, Satnamis, and the Sikhs. In the province of Agra, owing to the peculiarity of its climate the peasant masses of that territory were considered notorious throughout the vast country for rebelliousness, bravery and courage. Further, according to the historical records, the tract across the Yamuna River
, the zamindars did not pay the revenue without a fight, and the peasants always carried firearms. The area on both sides of the Yamuna appeared constantly as the scene of military operations against rebellious peasantry.
The province of Agra also witnessed a Jat revolt during the rule of Aurangzeb
. However, historians also claimed that in the earlier revolts, the revolting peasants were not identified as Jats rather they were identified as ganwar, or villager. The Jats were considered as a peasant caste; they inhabited villages between Delhi
and Agra. Thus, it becomes quite clear that they had already participated in many of the previous conflicts with the authorities. The Jat rebellion dates from the time when Gokula Jat, the zamindar of Talpat near Mathura
assembled a large army of Jats and other villagers and raised a rebellion against the Mughal Emperors
. Over wide areas the peasants refused to pay revenue and took to arms. The leadership of the Jat rebellion were in the hands of the zamindars has been established not only from the known antecedents of its chief men, but also from their conduct. One of the results of the Jat rebellion was a great extension of Jat zamindari in the Braj-speaking area. The Jat revolt against the Mughal Empire grew in time into a large plundering movement. This was, perhaps, inevitable under the narrow caste horizons of the peasants and the plundering instincts of their zamindar leaders.
Interestingly, the Jat rebels had no connection with any special religious movement. On the other hand, in the Satnami and Sikh rebellions against the Mughal rulers, religion almost completely replaced caste as the surfacing bond among rebel ranks. The Satnamis were a group of Hindu mendicants. These rebellions did not exhaust the list of peasant revolts in northern India. Mughal rulers also faced rebels from Wattus, Dogars and Gujjars. Further, the Marathas undoubtedly constituted the biggest single force responsible for the downfall of the Mughal Empire.